Navigation Links
Fainting in Healthy People May Be First Sign of Heart Trouble
Date:12/12/2012

By Barbara Bronson Gray
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fainting isn't fun. For those who have ever suddenly and briefly lost consciousness, it's a disconcerting situation that typically triggers a thorough medical workup. Unfortunately, it's often tough for physicians to determine just what caused a first fainting episode.

A large new Danish study provides a nationwide picture of how one-time fainters fare over several years. The researchers found these people were 74 percent more likely to eventually be admitted to the hospital for heart attack or stroke and five times more likely to need a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator at some point in the future.

The study suggests that even low-risk people who faint need to be carefully evaluated.

"Patients, relatives and clinicians should be aware that syncope [fainting] in seemingly healthy people is associated with higher risks of death and that syncope may be a first symptom of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Martin Ruwald, lead author of the study and now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y.

The study was published Dec. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The researchers used the Danish health care system's extensive nationwide databases, which allowed them to include every patient in Denmark who had a first-time admission to an emergency department or hospital due to fainting from 2001 to 2009.

The authors then included only the 40 percent of patients who appeared to have no pre-existing health condition, based on their medical records and the pharmacy database that showed their use of medications for high blood pressure or diabetes.

The researchers tracked those roughly 37,000 people for about 4.5 years, comparing their results to those of more than 185,000 similar people who hadn't fainted. The data included men and women, and people of any socioeconomic status, age, ethnicity, with or without any insurance or health programs, and whether or not they were employed.

The investigators wanted to know if people in the group that had fainted were more likely to die prematurely, have recurrent fainting episodes, develop cardiovascular problems or have a heart device -- such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

Fainting is related to a sudden drop in blood pressure that leads to decreased blood flow in the brain. Vasovagal syncope -- the most common type -- usually has an obvious trigger such as emotional stress, pain, the sight of blood or prolonged standing, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The study suggests that fainting in seemingly healthy people may be a first symptom of a more severe underlying cardiovascular disease, the researchers found.

However, Ruwald noted that in some people, fainting may not signal a significant health issue. "Women in particular can experience [fainting] in the younger age groups due to vasovagal or reflex syncope and it is a quite frequent event," he explained.

But other times, vasovagal reactions aren't the cause of fainting. Many women in their 20s have low blood pressure and fainting is very common among them, Ruwald noted.

Nonetheless, Ruwald said that the data suggest that a 26-year-old healthy female who faints has more than twice the risk of death within a year and beyond than does a woman of the same age who has not fainted.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, explained that while fainting is common, it's challenging to identify who is in danger and who is not. "Some people do well, some people don't do well, and some people die," she said. "This study suggests that although fainting could mean nothing if you're 44 or older, it could be a sign of cardiovascular disease. See your doctor if you faint."

Experts identified some limitations of the study. Steinbaum said the study design did not reveal what kind of workups patients got after they fainted and what factors may or may not have been identified.

Dr. Robert Sheldon, a professor of cardiac sciences at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, at the University of Calgary in Canada, wrote in an accompanying editorial that the study highlights some of the downsides of using administrative data rather than information gleaned from direct patient assessment.

Sheldon noted that the study authors knew nothing about the diagnosis of the patients in the study, their cause of death or how those who were healthy and fainted directly compared to others who fainted but had a known disease or health problem.

While the study found an association between fainting in otherwise healthy people and future heart complications, it did not establish cause-and-effect.

More information

To learn more about fainting, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Martin Ruwald, M.D., postdoctoral research fellow, heart research follow-up program, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., preventive cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Robert Sheldon, M.D., Ph.D., professor, cardiac sciences, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary, Canada; Dec. 12, 2012, Journal of the American College of Cardiology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Fainting Spells Often Tied to Too Many Meds at Once: Study
2. Fainting Might Run in Families, Twin Study Finds
3. Marketing Xocolate International Corp (MXI Corp) Makers of Xocai Healthy Dark Chocolate, Featured in Direct Selling News Spotlighting the Company's Continued Growth
4. Marketing Xocolate International Corporation; Xocai, Announces Their 12-Week Weight Loss Challenge To Make Healthy Changes
5. Xocai Maryland
6. Xocai Massachusetts
7. Marketing Xocolate International Corporation; Maker Of Delicious Dark Xocai Healthy Chocolate Set To Host Gold Executive Fly-In Event For Its Distributors
8. Healthy Chocolate Omega Squares, a Decedent Dark Chocolate Added to Marketing Xocolate International Corporation (MXI Corp) Product Lines
9. New evidence for epigenetic effects of diet on healthy aging
10. St Jude Retreats Reveals Addiction Treatment Industry Possess Healthy Revenue Stream
11. Case Western Reserve School of Medicine receives funding for healthy growth research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fainting in Healthy People May Be First Sign of Heart Trouble
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Local engineering firm, Timmons ... Medical Center located in Woodbridge, VA. The project includes a brand new ... site. , The new 2 story building houses the Central Sterile department, Sterile ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Mental health watchdog ... the Church of Scientology and renowned professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz, is continuing its ... “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia. The opening of the exhibit ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) has officially broken ground on ... Over 3,000 people looked on as the shovels hit the dirt at the community ... , During the program, Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president, LLUH, recapped the history ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... perfect data logger for each job, ensuring the best suited solution to meet ... MadgeTech data loggers at their lab in Istanbul. , Metroloji Okulu specializes in ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Bethpage, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... of this growing trend, more gluten-free products are available and easily accessible. Whether someone ... they want to cater to a certain diet, King Kullen Grocery stocks their shelves ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 2016 Een app die artsen ... collectief patiënten kunnen behandelen, hun kennis kunnen delen en ... de nieuwe en revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld door een ... dr. Hans Flu en oncologisch chirurg dr. Gijs ... is, wordt op dinsdag 24 mei officieel gepresenteerd op ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced ... Internship programs. The hands-on learning experience is a 12-week ... paid Fellowship and Internship programs ... Fellows and interns are provided optional housing free of ... at the Riverfront Residence Hall to foster communication ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Clarifying Vision - ... Monitoring, and Vision Care What can be ... going to grow at the fastest rates? This ... assessing data, trends, opportunities and prospects. ... Discover the most lucrative areas in the industry and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: